Diet and weight-loss companies see sales leap as people start their New Year’s resolutions for 2021, according to the New York Post. A stark contrast to the losses early in the COVID-19 pandemic, polls suggest sales come from consumers trying to lose weight gained due to stress eating and limited activity in 2020—dubbed the “Quarantine 15.” According to a WebMD poll, 47 percent of women readers and 22 percent of men gained weight “due to COVID restrictions.” Publicly held Medifast was one of the companies hit hard when lock-down started. However, Doug Lane, principal analyst at Lane Research, says the company’s sales went up 43 percent to $271 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2020, beating Wall Street’s expectations of $240.6 million. Stock went up a total of 85 percent for the year.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE – February
Daniel Taylor, 4Life Research
4Life has promoted Daniel Taylor to vice president of business intelligence and analytics. Taylor has been with 4Life for 20 years, starting in the company’s warehouse in 2001 before being promoted to supervisor of manufacturing. He most recently served as senior director of the new business intelligence and analytics department in 2018.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE – NOVEMBER
Asha Gupta, Amway
Amway has hired Asha Gupta as its new chief strategy and corporate development officer. She will be in charge of its global business strategy and evaluating strategic growth opportunities. She joins Amway after 23 years at Tupperware where she served as executive vice president and chief strategy and marketing officer. Her career started with Coats Viyella and included time at Coca-Cola.
Travis Garza, Plexus
Travis Garza has joined Plexus Worldwide as president of sales and marketing. In his 20-year career in sales and marketing, he has focused on building teams, relationships, and markets. Most recently, Garza served as president and CEO of Kyani International. Previously, he helped guide sales strategies for 10 years at Isagenix, and before that at Melaleuca.
According to a recent survey conducted by Medifast, nearly nine out of 10 U.S. adults (88 percent) report feeling stress during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, 82 percent of those surveyed are concerned about at least one aspect of their physical or mental health, and one-fifth are struggling to make progress on their health goals from before the pandemic. Medifast, parent company of OPTAVIA, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults to understand how the pandemic and the subsequent shelter-in-place orders had impacted their ability to maintain and develop healthy habits, as well as how people are coping during this difficult time.
Activist investor and previous board member Glenn Welling, along with his fund Engaged Capital LLC, has taken a 15 percent stake in Medifast, according to SEC filings. Entities of Engaged Capital have spent $107.5 to buy 1.16 million shares of Medifast (NYSE: MED) since September, giving the fund itself a 9.9 percent stake. Other agreements push Welling’s stake up to 1.74 million shares to represent the 15 percent stake. In 2016, Welling played a key role in hiring Dan Chard as CEO, succeeding Michael MacDonald, who remains executive chairman.
Plexus Worldwide has hired Ulli Lindauer as chief marketing officer. She will oversee all marketing strategies and initiatives for product management, creative services and customer analytics. Lindauer has more than two decades of experience including executive brand and marketing roles at Fossil Group, Bond No. 9, Chanel and L’Oreal.
Albert Bosch will assume the role of CEO for North America at BEMER Group. He will run all North American management and operations for the European-based company, reporting to Robert Moll, the company’s Global CEO. Prior to this position, Bosch has held executive positions at It Works! and spent 20 years at Tupperware Brands where he held president and managing director roles.